Alexander Nevsky (1938) Script


Mosfilm Studios 1938 Scenario: Pyotr Pavlenko Sergei Eisenstein Directed by: Sergei Eisenstein Dimitri Vasiliev Director of photography: Eduard Tissé Original score by Sergei Prokofiev Lyrics: Vladimir Lugovskoi

Prince Alexander Nevsky, son of Yaroslav - N. Cherkasov Vasily Buslai - N. Okhlopkov Gavrilo Olexich - A. Abrikosov

Master of the Teuton Order - V. Ershov

The 13th century.

Knights of the Teuton Order invaded Russia from the West.

Russia's vast and rich lands beckoned an invader.

The German aggressors expected an easy victory over our people:

Russia was still recovering from the Mongol bloodbath.

The countryside was sown with the debris of bloody battles.

The Pleshcheevo Lake -

There was a battle on the Neva River.

A battle on the wide Neva.

There we fought a vast and vicious enemy.

A cruel adversary, the Swedish host.

The bloody battle raged on.

We broke their ships into matchsticks.

We spilled our blood like water.

All for the sake of our land, the great Mother Russia...

To your knees!

Who are you?

Who were you looking for?

Why are you hitting him?

What's all that shouting? You are scaring the fish!


Don't you start fighting!

A guest who enters a house does not strike its owners.

Who are you?

The Prince of this land, Alexander.

Is that you they call "Nevsky"?


Are you the one who defeated the Swedes?

So what are you doing here?


Couldn't you find anything better to do?

What's wrong with fishing?

We shall build a fleet and sail to trade overseas. Right?

Come to us, to the Golden Horde.

We will make you a general.

We need warlords.

We have a saying:

“It's better to die than to leave your homeland.”

The Russian lands we shall never surrender.

Whoever rises against Russia, will be smitten.

Russia had risen on the enemy at the Novgorod field of glory.

The Mongols are a hard-necked people, a strong people.

It won't be easy fighting them.

Is there a will for the fight?

It is time to avenge the deaths of our forefathers...

The Mongols can wait a while.

We have a more dangerous enemy.

An enemy who is closer and more cruel.

An enemy we could not buy our souls from with ransom:

The Germans.

After we beat them, we shall take care of the Mongols.

Let it be the Germans, then. You know better where to start but our patience is at its end, Prince!

The Germans cannot be beaten without aid from Novgorod.

The campaign against them must start at Novgorod.

Novgorod is the last stronghold of the Free Russia.

The fish are escaping!

The Free City of Novgorod -

Vasily Buslai! Gavrilo Olexich! Come to your old friend.

I have Indian armor, Tartar spears.

Sharp Saracen swords. Stop lying.

You must have forged them yourself overnight.

Every bird subsists by its own beak.

We are fed up with wars, we are busy with other matters.

The young bulls are frolicking, smelling the spring in the air.

We've won glory in battle, now it's time to think of ourselves.

Have you heard? Vasily is going to get married.

When the she-goat is in the yard, the billy peeks in.

I am tired of spilling blood.

I fight one day, then brood for two.

I wanted to go to the Volga, play about with my battle-axe.

But the brooding won me over. Go be a monk, then.

I am thinking about matters of the heart.

If my wishes are not met, I may well go to the monastery.

Like a bear, to slaughter calfs on the altar.

Olga Danilovna, allow me to send matchmakers to your father.

No, I'll be the one to do it. Let her give us the sign.

She will tell us whom her heart will choose.

Tell us, Olga Danilovna, which one of us shall be your groom?

Forgive me, good people, I fail to understand your meaning.

What do you mean? Don't pull the bull by its tail!

Tell us who you will marry. Choose one of us.

If you want a merry and handsome lad, give me a sign.

If you prefer a more settled and boring type, choose Gavrilo.

If you are looking for lumps, choose Buslai.

If you wish to be a mistress in your home, I'm your partner.

I do not know what to say to you.

Both of you are good.

In time I shall give you my answer.

Brothers! People of Novgorod!

The Germans have taken Pskov and are advancing toward you!

They are slaughtering everyone who dared to take up arms!

One who is caught with a sword, is killed for the sword!

One who is caught with a loaf of bread, is killed for the bread!

Mothers and wives are tortured for their sons and husbands!

The Germans are like wild beasts!

We know them well!

One who raises his voice to scream, is killed for the scream.

One who is silent, is killed for the silence.

They have divided Russia among the German warlords.

One was awarded Pskov, another Novgorod!

Leave your trade, good people of Novgorod!

Wait! What is this senseless commotion?

Don't confuse these folks! We have a treaty with the Germans.

What is Pskov to us? If need be, we'll ransom ourselves!

We have surplus of goods, lying around needlessly.

The waterfronts are piled high with goods. The stores are full.

Will you trade Russia for your goods?

What's with you? What Russia? Where have you seen it last?

It's every man for himself.

Wherever you make your bed, there's your homeland.

You lying dog!

A snake is known by its hiss.

Don't you feed me what I can't swallow!

A mother or a stepmother, it's all the same to the rich!

Where they make a profit, there is their motherland.

To us, the simple folk, the Germans bring certain death.

We must invite Prince Alexander and strike at the Germans!

Alexander? Never! We don't want Alexander!

We don't want him! Summon Alexander!

Let's not wait for Alexander. We shall gather a host and strike at the Germans ourselves!

Domash the son of Tverdislav will lead us into battle.

He has seen harder battles than this. Lead us, Domash!

Domash for general! Lead us into battle, Domash!

We are beset by a great misfortune.

A great trouble requires a great man.

Not I, another leader is needed here.

A man whose arm is stronger and mind is clearer than mine whose glory has spread through the land and reached the enemy!

Who is that man, brothers?

Prince Alexander, son of Yaroslav!

We must invite Alexander and call Russia to arms.

Otherwise the Germans will decimate the Russian people.

We will be squeezed between the Germans and the Mongols and then we'll know what trouble means!

Call for Alexander!

City of Pskov -

Great Master! Pskov is at your feet.

That's not the way to make cities surrender.

If you give me Novgorod in this state.

I shall hang you on the nearest tree.

Great Master! Order your men to gather ropes!

Ropes? Why?

To tether the rebels at Novgorod!

They brazenly decided to resist and invited Prince Alexander.

That was the man who defeated the Swedes on the Neva.

A man capable of defeating us has not yet been born.

As to princes, I have enough of my own.

The brave knight Hubertus.

As Lord of all the conquered Russian lands I dub you the Prince of Pskov.

The glorious knight Dietlieb.

You shall be the Prince of Novgorod.

Hurry to Novgorod, Ananias.

You must incite the residents against Prince Alexander.

There is only one Lord, who is in heaven and his pontiff on Earth is but one.

There is only one sun to light the whole universe and lend its light to the planets and stars.

Holy Rome alone shall rule the world.

Whoever does not bow to Rome shall be put to death!

Well, do you agree?

It won't be your way, Tverdilo. Russia won't bow to the Germans.

We have beaten you in the past, we shall beat you yet again!

All in good time! Hang the foul-mouth!


Let me come with you, father!

Go away, Vasilisa!

Remember our blood! Avenge us!

Wipe them off of the face of the Earth!

Go to Peryaslavl. Call Alexander!

Devastated Pskov is crying out for you, Alexander!

Peryalslavl -

Instead of mending nets we should be fighting the Germans.

Go to sleep!

It's delicate work, not like hitting the Swedes.

Prince! People from Novgorod are asking to see you!

From Novgorod? Bring me my ceremonial dress.

Let them in.

Greetings from the Great City of Novgorod!

We have come to call you to our aid.

Why? Have you quarrelled among yourselves

and have no one to separate you?

The enemy is near, Prince Izborsk has fallen. Pskov taken.


The Germans are advancing toward Novgorod.

Is Great Novgorod trembling with fear?

Have pity on the orphans, Prince.

Forget the affront, Alexander.

Rise for Novgorod!

I shall rise to avenge the suffering of Russia.

No truer words have ever been spoken. Rise to her defence!

Defence? I do not know how to defend.

We shall smite them with all our power!

Your warriors are not inferior to the Germans, Prince.

My bodyguard alone is not enough.

We shall call the peasants to arms.

With their help we shall surely defeat the enemy by spring.

Arise, you Russian people! In a just battle to the death!

Arise, people free and brave! Rise to defend our fair land!

Our warriors will have honors, our fallen - eternal glory.

For the homes of our fathers, arise, you Russian people!

Arise, you Russian people! In a just battle to the death!

Arise, people free and brave! Rise to defend our fair land!

Our warriors will have honors, our fallen - eternal glory.

For the homes of our fathers, arise, you Russian people!

Arise, you Russian people! In a just battle to the death!

Arise, people free and brave! Rise to defend our fair land!

We shall not give up Russia, our enemies will be smitten!

Russia has risen against the foe, to fight for Novgorod!

Novgorod -

We don't want war! Go back to Peryaslavl!

We don't have any love for you!

You don't have to love me. I have not come to you as a lover.

I came to lead you into battle, Novgorod the Free.

If you don't fight willingly, my lords, the peasants will break your bones!

The Mongols hold Russia from the banks of the Volga to Novgorod.

The Germans are advancing from the West.

Russia is lying between the mallet and the anvil.

You stand alone, Novgorod the Fair!

Arise for the sake of our motherland, of our people.

Arise for the cities of Russia, for Kiev, Vladimir and Ryazan!

Arise for the sake of our fields, forests and rivers for the sake of our great people!

Lead the armed hosts of Novgorod, Prince!

Lead the armies of Novgorod!

Lead on! Lead on!

Arise, you Russian people! In a just battle to the death!

Arise, people free and brave! Rise to defend our fair land!

No foe will tread over Russia, no foreign army will plunder it.

No enemy will find its routes or trample its fields!

Arise, you Russian people! In a just battle to the death!

Arise, people free and brave! Rise to defend our fair land!

The spear-forgers donate a thousand spears!

We shall make five hundred shields!

A thousand!

We give five hundred axes! A thousand!

We pledge our lives!

Lead on, Prince Alexander!

Arise, you Russian people! In a just battle to the death!

Arise, people free and brave! Rise to defend our fair land!

Take everything! I'm giving it all away!

If you have no weapon, take one! Bring death to the enemy!

Arise, you Russian people! In a just battle to the death!

Even a small bird has a heart.

What say you? There is no more time to wait.

Tomorrow we do battle.

Why keep us waiting? Speak plainly!

Fate itself will decide for me.

The braver of the two will send his matchmakers to me...

Without proper tools you can't even kill a flea.

Arise, you Russian people! In a just battle to the death!

Arise, people free and brave! Rise to defend our fair land!

No foreign make, this. Forged with my own two hands.

Too bad, the mail is a bit too short.

Arise, you Russian people! In a just battle to the death!

Arise, people free and brave! Rise to defend our fair land!

My brothers, you knights! King Alexander has dared to resist us but God's hand has punished his impertinence.

His advance guard is trapped in the forest, like a bear.

I invite you all to hunt the Russian bear.

Lead them on their way.

The rabbit skips into a ravine, but the fox follows him.

The rabbit runs into the woods, but the fox stays on his tail.

So the rabbit jumps between two birch trees.

The fox comes after him and gets stuck!

It's twisting and turning, but can't get free. What a calamity!

The rabbit looks at her severely and says:

"Now I will violate your chastity”

"No, neighbor, don't put me to such shame!”

"Have pity!" cries the fox. “I have no time for pity."

Says the rabbit, and violates her!

Got her stuck between the trees, did he?

Yes, he did.

And violated her? He did!

Run for your life, Prince! Save your army!

The Germans are coming like a tidal wave!

Domash has fallen. Buslai taken prisoner.

Buslai, a prisoner?

You lying dog!

Buslai would never surrender! You slanderous swine!

Prepare to rescue them!

Chudskoye Lake -

Why are you slipping? There is ice under the horses.

We shall stop his horsemen right here, at Raven's Rock.

The ice is thin, Alexander. It might break under us.

The Germans' armor is heavier. If they break the ice, all the better.

To the shore! Retreat back to the shore!

Where are you going? To the shore!

What's your hurry, Vasya?

Isn't there enough space here for you to stand and fight?

These parts are foreign to us and covered with darkness.

It will be easier to fight on our side.

Withdraw your forces from the lake, Prince.

Hurry, Prince, he's talking sense.

We shall return to our side of the lake before sunrise.

It will be easier to fight standing on our own soil.

Every stone there is a friend, every ravine a brother.

One who won't fight on enemy soil has no need of his own!

We shall fight on foreign soil. Understood?

I will not let these dogs tread on the soil of Russia!

Peace be with you, Domash...

We shall fight on the lake!

Here, at Raven's Rock, we shall place the main force.

You, Gavrilo, will command the left flank.

I will take the right with my bodyguard.

And will take the assault force, as well.

You, Mikula, have your men lie in ambush.

The Germans will attack in a wedge formation.

The main force will sustain the first blow at Raven's Rock.

Who will lead the main force? You will.

You've been running all night. In the daytime you shall stand and sustain their blow, halt the German wedge and hold fast until we crush them from the flanks.


Let's go.

Take care, Vasily, stand fast against the Germans.

Chain the supply sledges together and put them behind you.

That will make it easier to hold the Germans.


Don't forget the agreement about Olga.

Don't you, either!

What are you standing around for? Form ranks on the lake.

April 5, 1242 -

The German wedge!

It is time.

When the Germans hit Buslai, let the wedge stick in deep and then we will hit them together from both sides.

Retreat to the supply train!

Should we move the train back?

Quiet! We shall die where we stand!

Take courage, sons of Novgorod!

Hold them in! Don't let the wedge spread out!

The time has come, Alexander.

For Russia! For Russia!

For Russia!

Forward, peasant folk, now it's our turn to hit the Germans!

This is a sword of such well-tempered steel.

Tempering is not the main thing.

The strength of a sword is measured by the arm that wields it!

With knowledge you can even kill a warlock!

Where is Vasily Buslai? Buslai!

Here is Vasily! Here I am!

To your health, Vasya!

Now we can't get at them with swords...

Don't be hasty, Saveliy!


Your work shows no results, Gavrilo!

Go on, show us what courage is!

The Prince is with us!

Smite the Germans!

Bring the Master to me!

Take him to the supply train.

We have carried the day!

I surrender.

A quail may be small, but it's still a bird.

Too bad, the mail is too short.

Some lie, torn with swords.

Others lie pierced with arrows.

Their red blood pouring out.

Onto the soil of Russia...




He who fell for Russia has died a hero's death.

I kiss your sightless eyes and caress your cold forehead.

As to the daring hero who survived the fight

To him I shall be a loyal wife.

And a loving spouse.

Are you alive, Olexich?

I am... Vasya...

I shall choose a husband for his courage in battle.

Can you hear her voice? She is searching for us.

Hear my voice, my heroes, answer me.

You are alive! Dear ones!

Thank God, you are alive! Where are the Germans?

There are no more Germans! No Germans, my dear ones!

They were defeated! Spread to the four winds or sunk below the ice!

If so, we have won the day.

Glory to the Prince.

Glory to us all.

We have not shed our blood in vain.

Olga Danilovna.

We have fought shoulder to shoulder.

We have stricken the Germans with all our heart and might.

I shall not live.

Olga... is yours.

What's with you? Are you going to die before the wedding?

What's with you?

No, I have not been destined to live.

I shall not take a wife.

You shall live, and your glory will live with you.

Bow down before Gavrilo. He was the first in battle, your hand in marriage belongs to him.

Come to your feet, Olexich.

City of Pskov -

With all this commotion nobody thinks about matters of state.

Good citizens of Pskov and Novgorod! I would strike you, lash you mercilessly, had you talked away the Ice battle!

Russia would never forgive us for the lack of daring.

So shall you remember it and shall pass it on to your kin.

And should you forget it, you become like Judas - traitors in the eyes of all Russia!

I promise: Should trouble come, I shall call Russia to arms anew and if you stand idly by, I shall strike you mercilessly as long as I am alive, and after it will be the duty of my sons!

And now let us have a court of justice.

We should free the foot soldiers. What say you?

What shall we do with them? They were forced to fight.

And what about the noble knights?

We shall ask for ransom! Exchange them for soap!

What should we do with him?

You, the people, should decide his fate!

No enemy shall tread on Russian soil.

Arise, my people, arise!

Give my judgement, Prince. Decide the fate of the girl!

I said I shall not choose the better-looking one but the one who was more prominent in battle.

My son Vasily has never been second-best to anyone!

They won't let a man live or die in peace.

Forgive me, mother, for contradicting your words.

I have never gone against your will. Don't slander Gavrilo.

Judging fairly, neither of us deserves to be the groom.

Vasilisa was blessed with the greatest courage of all!

There were none braver than she! Gavrilo was the next best man.

To this I pledge my honor before the people.

So be it.

You have disgraced your mother! I wanted to get you married.

So where's the problem? There will be a wedding yet!

Couldn't you even be the first in battle?

I wasn't the last.

Take for your daughter-in-law the girl in the chain mail.

What a beauty!

I haven't lost yet, mother.

And now...

Let us celebrate!


Let's agree in advance, at home keep your fists to yourself.

Go and tell everyone in the foreign lands that Russia lives.

He who comes to us as a guest, let him come with no reservation.

But he who comes to us with a sword, shall die by the sword.

On this stands Russia, and on this she shall stand forever.

"He who comes to us with a sword

"shall die by the sword.

"On this stands Russia

"and on this she shall stand forever."